Navigating the world of adoption can be confusing. You are sure to have many questions along the way. We have prepared answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that come up when starting the adoption process.
How long will it take to adopt a child?
It is so hard to give a time frame for adopting a child. There are several reasons for this. First, we never know when a birth mother will be contact us to place a child for adoption. Second, the birth mother may be interested in a family that doesn’t match with what you are looking for in a birth mother. Finally, it is ultimately up to the birth mother to choose the family. We do not have a list of families available and simply choose the first one on the list. We listen to our clients and what their needs are in order to put together an adoption plan that is best for both birth mother and adoptive family.
How much does adoption cost?
The costs of adoption can vary quite dramatically due to a number of issues. More specifically, birth mother expenses vary from one situation to the next. In addition, if there is a facilitator involved, the cost of the adoption will also be slightly higher. It is very rare that a birth mother does not need some type of financial assistance during the pregnancy. In addition to birth mother expenses, attorney fees, and facilitator fees (if applicable), there are other services to consider that will create an additional cost to you. These include agency fees, adoption service provider, independent counsel, CA Department of Social Services, etc. You will also want to consider travel expenses if you are adopting in California from another state. Most of our adoptions range from $30,000 – $45,000 which include legal fees, costs, birth mother expenses, and third party fees.
It is critical that we know your adoption budget up front so that we can present you for situations that are appropriate for you.
Where do your birth mothers come from?
Our birth mothers come to us from a variety of sources including print and online advertising, referrals, as well as facilitators and other professionals within the adoption community.
We work with birth mothers within the state of California as well as throughout the United States.
Can you represent both the adoptive parents and the birth mother?
Yes, with an appropriate Consent to Multiple Representation filed with the court.
How am I matched with a birth mother?
We discuss with the birth mother what she wants in a family. We also get details on the birth mother and have her fill out paperwork for us. Once we know the type of family she is looking for as well as the certain facts of her particular case, we then contact the families we have that match to see if they are interested in the situation. If they are, we present a minimum of 3 profiles to the birth mother to review. If she is interested in more information about a particular family, we will set up a phone call. Once the birth mother decides she wants to work with a family and the family indicates they want to work with her, a match is made.
Should I call your office to get updated about the progress of my match?
No. Such calls are time consuming and take away from the time we have to search for suitable birth mothers. We will present your materials for all situations that match your requirements and if we need additional info from you or have information to share, we will immediately contact you.
What information will I have on the birth parents?
Lengthy family, social and medical history documents completed by the birth mother. Where possible, we also obtain medical records. We do NOT conduct a background investigation on the birth mother nor do we interpret medical records. If you want that type of information, you are responsible for setting up investigation services or taking medical records to your own doctor for review.
What information will the birth parents have about me?
The birth mother will have your profile and other identifying information. California Adoption Law states that birth parents who place a child for adoption must have personal knowledge of the following information about the prospective adoptive parents:
Full Legal Name(s); age; religion; race or ethnicity; length of current marriage and number of previous marriages; employment; whether other children or adults live in their home; whether there are other children who do not reside in their home and the child support obligation for these children and any failure to meet these obligations; any health conditions that may shorten their life expectancy, or curtail their normal daily activities; any convictions for crimes other than minor traffic violations; any removals of children from their care due to child abuse or neglect; and their general area of residence, or if requested, their address.
Can I have a closed adoption?
In California, all adoptions are considered open. Openness, however, is a matter of degree. Some birth parents want a relationship with the adopting parents throughout the pregnancy. Others prefer less contact during the pregnancy and still others want more contact after the birth. Occasionally, we have a birth parent who requests phone calls and even visits once every couple years. Most often, our birth parents and adoptive families are happy with letters and pictures a few times per year.
Will the birth mother receive counseling?
In California, a birth mother will be advised that she has an absolute right to a minimum of 3 counseling sessions at least 50 minutes in length, paid for by the adopting parents. Some birth mothers do not want counseling and we cannot force her to do so.
Can we choose the gender of the baby we want to adopt?
You most certainly can specify the gender you want, however, we want you to be aware that this does limit your options and can result in a longer wait time to be matched. Some birth mothers do not know the sex of the baby when they contact our office and others may not be open to potential adoptive parents who only want a boy or girl.
If the birth mother agrees, adoptive parents who are gender specific must be willing to pay for the ultrasound for the birth mother who is considering them as potential adoptive parents. Keep in mind that there is no guarantee when it comes to gender since ultrasounds are not always 100% accurate.
What is a home study?
A home study is an investigation done by an independent agency to verify your suitability as adoptive parents. If you need assistance in obtaining a home study in California, please contact us. We do have reputable agencies that we can refer to you.
Do you work with same sex couples?
Do you work with single parents?
Do you work with out-of-state families?
Yes. We process many Interstate Compact cases and will assist in the process whether you choose to finalize the adoption in California or your home state.
Do you handle International Adoptions?
Our office does not handle international adoptions, however, we are happy to refer you to another professional who does work in this area.
What do we do if we can’t get a social security number for the baby?
The IRS has a form that you can use to request an adoption temporary identification number while you are waiting for your adoption to finalize.
What is an Adoption Temporary Identification Number?
An ATIN is an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number issued by the Internal Revenue Service as a temporary taxpayer identification number for the child in a domestic adoption where the adopting taxpayers do not have and/or are unable to obtain the child’s Social Security Number (SSN). The ATIN is to be used by the adopting taxpayers on their Federal Income Tax return to identify the child while final domestic adoption is pending. (This information is taken directly from the IRS website).
Where can we get the ATIN form?
Should you have additional questions that are not answered here, please contact the office by phone at 1-800-570-ADOPT (2367) or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.